Comparison of intravenous hydralazine and intravenous labetalol in the management of severe hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: a tertiary care centre study

Manvi Verma, Shashi Gupta, B. R. Bhagat, Aakanksha Mahajan, Baseerat Kaur


Background: Severe hypertension in pregnancy (SBP ≥160 mmHg &/or DBP ≥ 110 mmHg) must be treated judiciously to prevent maternal and fetal complications. The study was conducted to compare the efficacy, adverse effects, maternal and fetal outcome between Hydralazine and Labetalol which are the most commonly used drugs for the purpose.

Methods: In a prospective study, 130 pregnant patients each with severe hypertension presenting to SMGS Hospital Jammu were randomized in 2 groups and administered hydralazine or labetalol intravenously. The efficacy of the two drugs was measured in terms of number of doses required to obtain target BP and the timing to achieve the same. The incidence of adverse effects, maternal and fetal outcomes were also compared. Comparisons among the two groups was performed by using independent Student’s t test for normally distributed variables, Fishers’ exact test, and Pearson Chi Square test for categorical variables. The level of significance was set at p<0.05 for all analysis.

Results: There was no statistical difference between the two drugs in terms of efficacy. Significantly more low-birth weight infants were born in the hydralazine group. Also, the adverse effects were significantly more in the hydralazine group.

Conclusions: Both hydralazine and labetalol can be used to treat hypertensive emergencies of pregnancy but hydralazine is associated with more side effects.


Hydralazine, Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, Labetalol

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Authors would like to thank all patients for their cooperation.

Funding: No funding sources

Conflict of interest: None declared

Ethical approval: The study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee


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